Editor’s Note: August 2009
Author: Maggie Washo
“Take my name and just let me be.” –Michael Jackson, “Stranger in Moscow.”
I consider “Billy Jean” to be my entrance music. It has been for quite some time. In fact, I’ve never had any other entrance music.
For those of you not familiar with the term “entrance music,” it is the tune/ song/ jam that you wish would play every time you walked into a room, thereby inciting an uncontrollable urge to bust out your dance moves like a wannabe Britney Spears back-up dancer whilst the crowd stops conversing and stares in open-mouthed amazement at your talent. Of course, this never actually happens to me. However, I am content to walk into a club, beg the DJ to play “Billy Jean,” fight my way to the dance floor AND THEN bust out my moves like some wannabe Britney Spears back-up dancer.
My entrance music (“Billy Jean”) is the only deep connection that I have to Michael Jackson. However, since his untimely demise I’ve had several friends comment to me on how upset I must be, looking on with sympathetic, sad faces as if my dog had just died or something. To this I must throw out a “Really?!” in their general direction and scratch my head in amazement.
Although I will never understand celebrity worship, Michael was a talented man, make no mistake. He had the ability to entertain, be it through song, dance or theatrics. Unfortunately, when a man reaches the level of fame that Michael Jackson did, every move is scrutinized by the media and undue adulation is heaped upon a person who had more than a few issues (and I’m not talking about the ones he was on the cover of). His sentiments about the pitfalls of fame and public scrutiny were often expressed through his poignant lyrics.
I find it fascinating that just because a person is an amazing entertainer, his private life should then be displayed on a hypothetical billboard for all to see, comment on and judge. I often think about how annoying it is to run into someone you know ALL THE TIME in this small town. Can you imagine if everyone knew every move you ever made? Perhaps at the end of the day, he just wanted to be a creative genius, and then go home in peace. I guess now, he has.
So why am I writing about Michael Jackson? I told you. He sings my entrance music. And we’ll always have that. To pay homage to his brilliance and talent, I give you my “Top 10 Michael Jackson songs,” which are not in any particular order:
1.) “Billy Jean” (okay, that one IS in order)
2.) “Give In to Me”
3.) “Human Nature”
4.) “Man in the Mirror”
5.) “She’s Out of My Life”
6.) “In the Closet”
7.) “The Way You Make Me Feel”
8.) “Stranger in Moscow” (obscure, I know)
9.) “Dirty Diana”
10.) “You Rock My World”
In Memory of an Extraordinary Talent